Friday, March 6, 2009

Trainers, Trainers, Trainer Everywhere!

We all have certain horseman and women that we look up too. And for different reasons. Me for example, I am really into John Lyons, I enjoy reading his books, and taking bits of information and training techniques from him that I can apply to my own training programs.

Nowadays there are just so many damn horse trainers to choose from it can be a bit overwhelming. Typically when it comes to following a specific trainer or technique, it has to be one that matches your own style. If it doesn't make sense to you why would you follow it??

Now I read A LOT, I surf the web and I try to find advice and tips that I can use. I'm sort of a grazer, so to speak. I take a lot of information from many different avenues and use what I feel is appropriate to get the job done to my liking!! And believe me, with me going to pick up the Mustang in 7 short days, I've been absorbing info like a sponge!!!

So let's have a chat on some of the trainers out there that you like, or don't and why. What theories of theirs do you like or dislike? From Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli, Julie Goodnight, Whomever! Let's sound off...


JohnieRotten said...

Trainers I have always looked up to by Johni Rotten.....

Buster Welch, Bruce Crockett, Floyd Brooks, Arnold Reed, Jackson Shirley.

They were all not just great trainers, but great horsemen as well!

The Pale Horseman said...

I have to admit when I first saw Parelli I thought it looked quite fun. Good little puzzle games to challenge your horses intellect and for horses too young, old, sore etc. to be ridden.

Now however they just rub me the wrong way. Its too commercialised and cult-ish. They try to get people to think NH is the ONLY way to train and make silly products and gimmicks.

I don't really have a trainer I follow as such. I normally just go with my own style and pick up bits of information from people I trust are'nt talking BS.

I do admire a friend of my mom's though. He does NH but not in the way Parelli does. He just thinks from the horses point of view, takes the role of alpha horse and always ensures the horse has ENJOYED the session so as to end on a good note.

Trainer X said...

See and I think that's half the battle is finding not only good trainers, but HORSEPEOPLE as well... Amen JR!!

SweetPea said...

I really like John Lyons and Clinton Anderson's styles. To me, their training techniques (for the most part) make sense.

That being said... I really try to adjust my training to the horse at hand. What is working for a 12 year old arab, isn't going to work for my 3 year old Foxtrotter. I adjust according to the horse. They let me know when they are ready to move on to the next level.

SweetPea said...

Oh... and building blocks, building blocks, building blocks. A must come before B.

kestrel said...

I really like Marilynn Bailey, Stacy Westfall's techniques, Sally Swift, Bill Dorrance, Lyons, Dr. Beary, Buck Brennaman...Alois Powdosky (sp?) actually anyone's stuff is worth looking into. Sometimes watching someone make mistakes can be just as informative.
The main thing to watch for in a trainer good are the horses they turn out? Does the horse understand it's job and do it willingly and cheerfully? Is the horse flexible enough to handle a wide range of activities? Is the horse safe?
I don't like the Parrelli stuff because too many times the human doesn't seem to care or even notice that their horse is bored and irritated, ears pinned, unsure of what is expected and poor manners. People who follow any one trainer have closed their minds, and when they run into a horse that doesn't respond to that method they either ruin the horse or get hurt..

The Crossroads said...

I easily look to Clinton Anderson and John Lyons, those two are phenomenal trainers and help you establish a bond of PARTNERSHIP with your horses, not a FRIENDSHIP that Parelli promises.

Over the past few years I've watched people nearly be trampled by their Parelli trained horses and it does nothing more than turn me away from their methods. I'd never ride with someone who established through Parelli. We've got one horse at a barn I boarded at about trample her owner for a freaken bucket of grain in the grain bucket race. This mare has no respect for personal space and the owner is a Parelli follower. Needless to say she may have screwed up w/o Parelli, but I've seen too many things go wrong with Parelli.

Clinton and Lyons provide you with simple, yet effective ways to train your horse whether it's a $50 horse from the auction for a $20,000 horse that needs fine tuning. If I could, I'd send my three year old to either one of them and be assured they'd come home safer than if I sent them to Parelli.

EveryoneThinksThey'reGoodDrivers said...

John Lyons and Julie Goodnight are good eggs. I have been lucky enough to have had dinner with both.

I think Clinton Anderson is weird. I think he's probably a good horseman but I haven't listened to him for more than a few minutes.

I can't stand Pat Parelli.

Craig Cameron is a good horseman, I think, but he is also more the showman.

Richard Shrake, I saw him speak once and I enjoyed what he had to say.

Mark Rashid who wrote "Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse" amongst others is a good read.

I also have enjoyed Jack Brainerd, Buck Brannaman and Sally Swift.

I think you learn from everyone, what to do and what not to do.

Not all training methods work on all horses, the more you know, the more tools you have to use.

GoLightly said...

Well, I'm skeered to say, surrounded by your western-ish folk.

I STILL like the Monty Roberts BOOKS.

(runs, ducking and hides)

What kestrel said, as usual.
The great horsemen just keep training and having happy horses at the end of it..

Christilot Boylen.
George, of course. His methods have been skewed to fit the ammies.
My cousin.
Nah,I can't say anymore..

Trainer X said...

GL~~~ Monty is FINE!!! I like some of the things he has to say as well :):):):):) And it's not that we're ALL western folk, it's just who would you want to break and train your horse (besides me of course LMFAO!!) OK, seriously though.... that's all... though it seems as though the big name horse trainers and breakers are western aren't they??? Hmmmmmmm??? I'm predominantly a hunter/jumper trainer with some Western pleasure mixed in anyway ;)

CCH said...

I have not found anyone who seriously markets themselves (TV, video, magazines, equipment sales, etc) that actually has anything new to say. They basically just have a different way of communicating the idea so that people with different learning styles pick it up.

That being said, Clinton Anderson is coming to Minot in August. I am planning on sending an e-mail to see if they will have a stallion row or something with a tradeshow. I must get studly in that.

paul_linn_is_a_jerk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paul_linn_is_a_jerk said...

I watched Linda Parelli on RFDtv and it was PAINFUL!! She is awful. She was trying to explain how to get a horse to move between you and an object (the squeeze game) and she was using 4 PEOPLE!! Not a horse. It was really stupid. Then they showed her with a horse and she had no control at all. I can't stand Pat either - he keeps telling you to buy his 'stuff'. I have ridden several "Parelli" trained horses - what a nightmare!

Clinton Anderson - sure is easy on the eyes - LOL. I enjoy watching his show because he explains what he does and why he does it so that you can actually apply his methods at home.

Chris Cox - he explains what he is doing, but not HOW he is doing it. I have picked up a few tidbits though.

Ken McNabb - a mix between Clinton and Chris - and very political.

Julie Goodnight - saw a couple of episodes - she tends to go to the 'rich' -not very helpful.

Ryan Gingerich - awful.

Golden Girl said...

I remember years ago when the 'clinitioners' came into popularity. Frankly I am shocked that a fad like this for 'making money' has lasted soooo long. Then I realized these guys were for all the 'horsey lay people' or 'weekend riders' that really didn't understand the psyche of the horse, and by using these clinitioners they felt that they could relate to horse almost as a real horse person could.(absolutely nothing wrong with that) Plus there was the portunately to meet other simular people like themselves, and no body felt alone anymore! hehe

I have tried to watch most these guys on RFDTV when their particular tapes were aired, but with ALL the dry talking they did, OMG... I could hardly make it through the first 30 mins, just soooo boring!

I must add that Clinton Anderson is the exception. Although he does over bend all his horses too much (practically putting their chins on their chests) he at least made the statement that he did believe in verbal communication with the horse that is in training. I also started using his lateral ground flexing exercises (first with the halter or sidepull, with out the bit) when starting the young animals that I get in training, and have had great success. This I recommend highly to save a young horses mouth!
I also must add the I am 'Cowboy Hat Phobic'! LOL I associate cowboys with huge tacky belt buckles, and those horrible and unnecessarily long spurs with those terrible rowels that they wear. I under stand that they are there to use by pivoting the foot and touching the side of the horse with out moving the leg out of position, but ACK... way too many people abuse them! Plus they make noise when the wearer walk... LMAO


ridewithjoy said...

I have seen in person Clinton, Lyons, Shrake,Trindale, Cameron. Mcnabb at expo demos not clinics. I learned something from all except Shrake who talks in such a monotone he was hard to understand in the expo arena. Clinton was the most entertaining and easiest on the eyes. John Lyons personally gave me some wonderful advice on riding while handicapped when my legs were really bad and getting worse in 2005. Cameron made fun of my disability when I asked him a question. I really liked what I saw with McNabb working a little BLM mustang in the colt challenge. If a bunch of money fell out of the sky on me I would love to take baby Bonnie to his three week colt starting camp. Alice Trindale is a NW OR lady who does ranch horse dressage and in hand stuff- she is a delight to watch and learn from- also would be a cool clinic to really go to.

Patricia said...

I've had two clinics that have changed my life.

The first was with Martha Josey. The woman is amazing; she can fix the minute problems a horse and rider are having together with such fluidity; its amazing. This was about ten years ago when I was heavy into barrels.

The second was a more recent one: I spent $400 for an hour with Stephen Peters. Wow. He is amazing! I hope to see him again at the Ohio equine affaire in a month. He is a balanced rider, and unlike some other BNTs he really cares about his horses. Watch a YouTube video of him on Ravel. You can tell that horse tries so hard for him, and they have an amazing bond.

Although my favorite trainer of all time is a quiet, soft spoken, really knowledgeable reining trainer in my area named John Bratnick. He's very patient and creative when it comes to working with green horses and fixing bad habits of some of the senior reiners. I took lessons with him on my barrel horses to quiet them down and broaden their skills (and prevent burn out) and I can't say enough about how awesome he is!

One trainer that impressed the heck out of me a few Congresses ago was Stacey Westfall. I don't know how she is teaching-wise, but her bareback and bridleless freestyle reining was amazing. I'm not a fan of Parelli to be honest, but I imagine that Stacey Westfall's riding is natural horsemanship done right- the way that Parelli probably envisioned when he first started 10, 15 years ago.

Max said...

Locally, Dennis Wright is a star. He respects and cares about horses, knows how they think, and is a great teacher. He is also a "go-to" trainer for problem horses - and he straightens them out without resort to force or pain. My kind of trainer and horseman.

mrscravitz said...

Oh I Like them all! And I DID read and watch all of them! I got so confused. I wound up not working with my horse because I did not know what to do. Where to start. UNTIL........I went to a Clinton Walkabout! WOWEE! I Finally UNDERSTOOD! I LOVE Clinton in that he explains what to do for the person that knows NOTHING! He talks "horse English"...LOL Now that I "get it"! I can take something from everyone, and adapt it to my own horse. I use to be in love with the Parelli way too, till all the commercialization. That just turns me off!

Nosnikta said...

My daughter is riding in a clinic with Julie Goodnight next week. I'm anxious to see how that goes.

I don't have any favorites, but I recently saw Dennis Ries and liked what he was doing. Anything that makes me WANT to go to the round pen is a good thing.

GoLightly said...

Ok, well, then:)

Best trainers/Riders in Canada, right now.

Beth Underhill.
Eric Lamaze, of course.
Ian Millar, of course.

Off to audit a Christilot Clinic today, on hands..

horspoor said...

Sally Swift, Steffan Peters, Conrad Schumacher, Tom Lyons, Sharon Camarillo, Al Dunning. These all have strong foundations in classical riding. All seem to have the horses welfare first, all are proponents of 'Sit up a ride...I don't want to hear your excuse. Work on yourself, the horse will show up.'

Paigeley said...

i like
Mary Wanless,
Heather Blitz,
Tina Cope,
Nuno Olivera(wish i could have ridden with him)

Endurance rider said...

I personally like Clinton Anderson's methods. I like the fact that he talks 'straight' to you - he calls a spade a spade as he sees it. I personally don't care for Parelli because (and I've felt this way for many years) he's too 'taa-daa' for me - everything is a 'show'. I'm not there to be entertained, I'm there to learn!

That all being said, I feel like apparently many others do, that the best thing is to take 'bits and pieces' from each trainer and use them accordingly. I personally don't think that one trainer's methods work will all horses. The best trainer will tailor the training to the horse that's being worked with, not try to make the horse 'fit into' the training.

The greatest trainer I know is mine, of course! She's incredible - not just with horses but humans too. She's started all my youngsters and re-started a lot of my adult purchases. I wouldn't even CONSIDER letting anyone else train my horses. She pulls from all the trainers and applies the needed methods for that particular horse. She's not only knowledgeable she's also patient, firm, honest, and has a great work ethic. Everything I could ever want in a trainer. I'm in western WA north of Seattle. If you live in this area and need a good trainer, I know one!


Has anyone out there heard of a trainer named C R A I G P. S T E V E N S ?? I typed his name that way because apparently he googles himself and jumps in anywhere he sees his name. I have a friend who refers to him as 'He Who Shall Not Be Named', or HWSNBN. I have heard some stories about him (not nice ones), and I'm curious if anyone else knows of him. I have a friend of a friend who's got a horse 'in training' (if you can call it that) with him and he 'gave the horse a beating' (my friend's words) with the handle of a lunge whip for trying to bite him. The beating was so bad the owner left almost 'in tears'. Sorry, but I wouldn't have left WITHOUT THE HORSE!! Dontcha know, the horse is still there. People are so amazingly stupid . . .

fraidykat said...

Love C Anderson. He puts on a good show for sure. I was at PA farm show when he did the merry go round routine with Mindy. Wow.
I had the privilege to talk to Julie Goodnight after an expo. She is very friendly and "reachable". One thing I like about her round pen DVD's is that she takes different styles of horses and shows how to work them.
We have a local trainer named Kenny Harlow who impressed me tremendously at the last PA expo. I learned a whole lot about handling my hyper mare in just and hour.
At the same expo, Tommy Garland was supposed to show how to start a driving horse. A young gal called him and said they were going to make her get rid of her horse and could he please work her. So he threw out the driving plans and came to her rescue. That put him on top of my list because he cared.
Earlier I was at his booth and doing some window shopping. I about had heart failure. He walked around the corner and asked if he could help me. I didn't buy anything but we had a nice chat.
I watch most of the RFDTV trainers and have learned something from all of them. You jsut need to pick what works on your horse.

Andalusians of Grandeur said...

My favorite by far

GoLightly said...

(smacks head)

Jim Wofford.
Guys a genius, and he has a blog!